The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire BibleJonah 3:9
Who can tell…
The Septuagint and Arabic versions prefix to
this the word "saying", and take them to be, not the words of the king,
but of the Ninevites; though very wrongly: or "who is he that knows";
which some connect with the next word, "he will return": that is, that
knows the ways of repentance, he will return, as Kimchi and Ben Melech;
or that knows that he has sinned, as Aben Ezra: or that knows the
transgressions he is guilty of, will return, as Jarchi; and so the
``whosoever knows that sins are in his hands, he will return,
or let him return, from them:''
but they are the words of the king, with respect to God, encouraging
his subjects to the above things, from the consideration of the
probability, or at least possibility, of God's being merciful to them:
[if] God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce wrath,
that we perish not?
he speaks here not as nor as absolutely doubting,
but as between hope and fear: for, by the light of nature, it is not
certain that God will pardon men upon repentance; it is only probable
or possible he may; neither the light of nature nor the law of Moses
connect repentance and remission of sins, it is the Gospel does this;
and it is only by the Gospel revelation that any can be assured that
God will forgive, even penitent sinners; however, this Heathen prince
encourages his subjects not to despair of, but to hope for, the mercy
of God, though they could not be sure of it; and it may be observed,
that he does not put their hope of not perishing, or of salvation, upon
their fasting, praying, and reformation, but upon the will, mercy, and
goodness of God.
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Gill, John. "Commentary on Jonah 3:9". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". <http://classic.studylight.org/com/geb/view.cgi?book=jon&chapter=003&verse=009>. 1999.